5 Questions To Ask When Creating Core Values

Our core values matter. They shape or should shape our organizations. They’re the boundary lines for everything we do. They inform us of how we are to act and conduct business.

Our last article discusses the dangers of having core values but not living them out in your organization. It’s a true travesty. 

In this article, we will examine five questions to ask when defining your core values.

A giant rusty chain with three links

Photo by Shaojie on Unsplash

5 Questions To Ask When Creating Core Values

The more questions you ask as you begin to seek out core values for your organization, the better. Your core values will define appropriate actions, how to treat those inside and outside your organization, and more. 

That’s why you have to carefully consider what you declare as your core values. The more specific you can get, the better. 

You also have to ask questions regarding those values. Here are 5 questions that I believe will help you shape your organization properly.

1. Do these values actually align with who we are?

Consider your organization when crafting your core values. Your core values cannot be some pie in the sky, great wish. Your core values have to reflect who you are as an organization.

Assess your employees and customers. See what others say they see you as. They often have a much better understanding of an organization than those within it.

If you want your core values to stick, you must ensure they align with who you are.

2. What do we do when we fail to live out our core values?

We won’t always live out our core values. There will be times when we slip up and make a mistake. Maybe you make a bad hire. Someone within your organization might have had a bad day and lost their temper.

Understanding what to do when someone within the organization doesn’t live up to the core values is important. You have to have an idea of what steps need to be taken and how to get the organization or person back on track.

If you fail to do this, you will slip further and further away from your values as you make mistakes.

3. What are our employee’s personal values?

Just as important as how others see the organization is what your employees’ core values are. This gets tricky as you grow.

People change, they move on, and people come in. Each person brings with them different personal values.

You can’t have an organization full of people with personal values that differ from the organization’s values. This will create a paradox of frustration, angst, and despair.

When deciding your core values, make sure your people align with them. If not, you may have to consider changing your core values or your employees.

4. Will these core values stand the test of time?

Sometimes, we choose core values because they are the hip, current thing in the business world. They sound good, so we grab them. 

Years later, sometimes even as soon as a few months later, we are discouraged. The core values we chose don’t seem to fit us anymore or are out of style (core values should never go out of style). 

You can’t choose the trendy core values. You have to select core values that are tested, true, and long-standing.

5. Can we live out these values regularly?

Lastly, can your organization consistently live out the core values you’re creating? We know we won’t be perfect in living them out, but we have to be able to be consistent and regular in living out our values.

Make sure your organization can be the organization you proclaim it to be. If it can’t, your organization and leadership will be seen as hypocrites.

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